More and more homeowners see the value in adding an ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit) to their property—particularly in California where we arguably have some of the most expensive residential property in the country. To combat financial challenges and land shortages, ADUs are serving many purposes, depending on homeowners' needs throughout their lives.
To find out why homeowners might want to build an ADU on their property, Acton Construction surveyed our clients to get a sense about what they hoped to gain by adding an ADU to their property. We used their feedback to create this list of 8 Reasons that Santa Clara County, California Homeowners Are Considering Building an ADU on their property.
#1. Generate Positive Cash Flow
If there is a period when you won’t be using the ADU to house family members or guests, you can always use it to generate passive income. That income can go towards your mortgage for however long you decide to open the doors of your ADU to short-term renters. Or, another possible alternative is to live in the ADU while renting out your main house. Perhaps you are an empty nester and you no longer need or want to have to maintain a big house.
You can use the house as an Air B&B type of arrangement where you open your home to vacationers or short-term renters. If your home is already paid off, the revenue you get from renting rooms to guests can improve your standard of living and help you enjoy your retirement - free from the common financial concerns that plague so many retirees.
#2. Provide a Separate Place for Family While Keeping Them Nearby
If your children are old enough to leave the nest, but not yet ready to buy their own home, the ADU can provide them with temporary housing— perhaps while they’re in school, or for a newly married couple, so they can save money for a down payment on a home.
ADU’s are also referred to as Mother-in-Law Suites. The name is pretty self-explanatory. When our parents get older, they don't want to have the responsibility of maintaining a large house. But they may not want to give up their independence. An ADU is an ideal option that allows your aging parents to hold on to their independence without having to pay the high prices that senior retirement communities charge.
New California laws that went into effect in January of 2017 will make it easier and more affordable for homeowners to add an ADU or turn a dilapidated structure into a Granny Cottage or a Mother-in-Law Suite.
#3. Increase Your Property’s Assessed and Eventual Resale Value
According to an analysis published in the Fall 2012 issue of The Appraisal Journal, the added income that an ADU can produce increases the assessed value of a home by an average of 25 percent. That additional revenue will also be a factor in pricing your home if you choose to sell it in the future.
#4. Make an Impression on Out of Town Guests and Family Visitors
If you have extended family or children who live in another state, you’ll be able to entice them into coming to visit you because they’ll feel more comfortable if they’re sure that their presence won’t turn your household upside down. If you have dear friends who moved away for better jobs, to be closer to family, or to enjoy their retirement, an ADU is a gentle way to persuade them to see you - especially if they don’t have to worry about the expense of a hotel room and meals.
#5. Have a Place to Live While you Remodel Your Main House
With California real estate prices as high as they are, many home buyers turn to remodeling as an easier, less expensive alternative to moving. They look at ADUs as an opportunity to maintain their daily lives while customizing their main home, fit to their taste and budget. If the main house is uninhabitable for the duration of the renovation, an ADU provides temporary housing, allowing homeowners to live on the property and not have to spend money on temporary accommodations. And there is no shortage of ways to use the ADU after the remodel.
#6. Build a Home Office, a Craft or Artist’s Studio, or a Man Cave
If your job allows you to work from home some or all of the time, you may want to consider using the ADU as a home office. Having the ability to work from home in a space that’s separate from your main house may facilitate greater productivity. You won’t have to take over a bedroom or other area in your home, and you won’t have to worry about the constant distractions that would likely plague you if you had to deal with the demands of needy kids or other family members.
If you don’t need or want to have a separate home office, consider using the ADU as a man cave, craft studio, or game room—the opportunities are endless.
#7. House a Caretaker
Now that more and more experts see the benefits of aging-in-place, there may come a time when circumstances make it necessary to hire a caregiver to help an older adult maintain their independence. Having a caretaker who lives in your home may make you feel like you’ve lost that freedom or won’t have the privacy you’ve come to value. An ADU provides your caretaker with the convenience of a private living space while working around the clock.
#8. Make a Home Purchase Achievable When it Might Not Otherwise Be Possible
California’s real estate market is expensive and competitive. Unless you have deep pockets or an unlimited budget, homeownership may be financially impossible. If you build an ADU on your property, you can use it as a long-term rental unit. The income you generate from renting the unit may make your monthly mortgage payment more affordable.
If you’re interested in learning more about different types of ADUs, and building codes, regulations, and zoning ordinances, contact Acton Construction. Our experts are ready to talk to you and determine whether it is feasible to build an ADU on your property, and where to put it. We can show you our ADU plans and answer all of your questions. We will help you deal with any city or county challenges to make sure that you have the necessary permits before starting the project.